Proposed Changes in Meat and Poultry Net Weight Labeling Regulations Based on Insufficient Data

CED-79-28: Published: Dec 20, 1978. Publicly Released: Dec 20, 1978.

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The revised regulations proposed by the Department of Agriculture for assuring net weight compliance with federal weight labeling laws for meat and poultry products are reviewed.

Choosing a net weight regulatory system for meat and poultry products will be economically significant. The proposed regulations, which have been sharply debated, would exclude the estimated weight of moisture loss and the weight of the liquid remaining in the package from the product's net weight in determining net weight compliance; require a mandatory plant- operated quality-control system for net weight compliance; outline sampling procedures to determine net weight compliance; and include provisions regulating the net weights of bulk shipments from processors to retailers for further processing and packaging. The Department of Agriculture has not gathered adequate data to determine whether the current system needs to be changed or whether the proposed system or other possible alternatives would be more economical and practical than the current system.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should direct Agriculture's Food Safety and Quality Service to expand and extend its search for information concerning the best way to monitor net weight labeling activities for meat and poultry products. Such a search should include a reevaluation of the need for change; a comparison of available alternatives; a comprehensive economic impact statement for each system considered; a thorough and objective analysis of comments from major groups, including state and local government regulatory organizations, industry, and consumers affected by such activities; and research to resolve the packaged meat and poultry moisture loss controversy.

    Agency Affected:


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